Contract negotiations between Connecticut Light and Power (CL&P) and its unionized employees have reportedly come to a standstill due to a dispute about just how many people should be employed, reports the Hartford Courant.
A representative from Local 420 told the Courant that the number of linemen at the company has declined by more than half since 2007 and that the limited staff is a problem if there’s a storm.
In July, a state panel for their response to Tropical Storm Irene in 2011, which left many without power for days. The Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority called CL&P’s handling “deficient and inadequate”
The draft decision also ordered CL&P to develop a plan to establish a “heightened state of readiness” in preparation for future storms. The report also asks the company to take steps to address issues such as tree trimming, communications and securing mutual assistance.
“This draft is a positive step toward ensuring better quality of service and fair compensation for residents, ratepayers and municipalities,” said Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen in a statement at the time.
The PURA draft decision did not specify potential sanctions for other public service companies, including United illuminating (UI), the state’s second largest electric distribution company. PURA did, however, reserve the right to take UI’s storm performance into consideration when reviewing any future request by that company for recovery of 2011 storm-related costs.